Monday, 22 December 2008

New Zealand vs West Indies - 2nd Test - Napier - Day Four

I don’t know if you can hear, but that’s a bath running in the back ground, and once it’s full, I’m going to sit in there and finish writing this.  Why, because I can, I want to and mostly because I feel like I need a damn good soak.

Now that’s a day of Test cricket; two down at the start of play and seven down at the end.  With momentum swings at crucial points throughout the day it was one that could have gone any way.  We’re certainly not disappointed with where we are; three wickets in the morning and we right back in there.

Bath run, lovely!

So today, it took us 16 overs to make a break through, and we get two at once.  Marshall nicks one off Jeets and then Shiv, first ball, leading edges a full toss back to Jeets who happily takes the dolly catch.  We got Shiv out.  This is a cause to celebrate, and we do.  That was one tight huddle in the middle of the ground, it turned into a bit of a rolling maul; we knew how big a wicket he is.

While we were waiting for Shiv to come out Dan asked me to warm up, we had a plan that we were going to implement against him.  I was going to bowl the next over from the other end.  Dan had spoken to Ian Smith, one of the Sky commentators about a plan to him, and I had a chat with Simon Doull this morning before we started along the same lines.  Both suggested the same plan, I get the feeling that they had worked it out together and both were taking credit for it.  Any way, we didn’t need it.  A full toss was all it took, and that was about the only ball we hadn’t bowled to him in this series.  Jeets had two in two and was on a hat trick.  Not to be though.

Gayle was still and looking amazing.  I’m not bothered about saying that, as he has been just brilliant last night and today.  Sometimes you just have to admit that when someone is hot, they’re hot and let them be.  Nash joined him and we were trying to attack Nash and defend, as much as we could, to Gayle.

We let Nash cut again.  We really can’t let him do this.  It wasn’t good enough from most of us to him.  Gayle and Nash put on 124 and held us wicket less for over 55 overs. 

We went into tea not with our heads down, but we certainly weren’t bubbly either.  We came out from tea with some real energy.  A great chat in the shed from Dan and Baz and we fizzing.  We’re back out there with a purpose, with intensity and most importantly with the question ringing in our ears, “who’s going to stand up and make it their day?”

Franky had the ball and he ‘stood up’.  He hit the deck hard, bowled fast and really rattled Nash straight after tea.  And then pick him up with a short ball grabbing some glove lobbing to 2nd slip for an easy catch.  We’re back.  It took us another eight overs to pick up our next wicket, Ramdin hit a soft shot to Flynny at point.  Happy days.  Franky finished a very good spell with some good reward.

All day I had been struggling with rhythm and it was important that this spell, my last of the day, was up in intensity, pace and hopefully the rhythm would come back.  It did, and early.  The first ball of this spell kicked through to Baz like it had been in the first innings.  Just one ball and the confidence grows and that feel comes back.  Again, I’m back.  If I had all night to type, I’d try to explain what I’m talking about, but I honestly don’t think I have time right now.  But I’ll try to soon.

I had a good chat  to Baz before the spell, he asked me to concentrate on a couple of lengths that were successful for me in the first innings, and hit them well.  Defend as much as we could to Gayle and attack Taylor who was now in.  I had picked Taylor up in the first innings by getting him hooking.  That was going to be part of the plan this evening, although he wasn’t coming to the party, at all.  Plan B, the slower ball, again.  Set him up with a couple of hard length balls, a good bouncer, which actually hit him hard in the grill; yes I did check to see if he was ok!  And then the slower ball, the same one that I got Fidel with in the first.  Same result.  LBW.  Yeah ha!  That’s seven down with about five overs left.  A real good chance to pick up at least one more tonight. 

Fidel came out at nine tonight, I was quite happy about this.  Again I was going to refrain from bowling bouncers to him because he is expecting them.  I started with length balls, hard and heavy.  I got him to nick a good one to second slip, unfortunately it was dropped.  These things happen and I managed to hold back the disappointment that I had been showing, quite a bit, back in Bangladesh.  A positive and forward move for me. 

No more wickets for us tonight, but my nine over spell was a real positive for me and the team.  I bowled an eight over spell in the first innings when I picked up the last four and it had been a long time since I’d done more.  I was pretty tired towards the end but there was no way Dan was getting the ball out of my hand.  Hopefully I can start up in the morning and take the momentum from tonight into that spell.


Anonymous said...

That last spell you bowled was very good. Again your pace was up, consistently around 140 and your control seemed superb. A shame about the dropped catch..I suppose they happen. Hopefully it kicks How into gear with the bat!!! Hopefully it doesnt hurt us too much! Nice bouncer to hit Taylor too btw, worked wonders.

Looking forward to tomorrow...hopefully you can clean up the tail again quickly then put your feet up for the rest of the day. Good luck for tomorrow Iain! Absolutely loving the blog btw.

redbirdscricket said...

Clean up the tail just like you did a couple of days ago and put your feet up to relax. Your batsmen should not find this difficult to chase if you can get them all wrapped within the first hour like you did on the morning of second day. Good performance today OB and looking forward to more.

ballbags said...

Love you man!. a seamer with pace and character! Im digging this blog- hardly ever do we get a players insight into a day's cricket! What was Howza doing!!! Denied after such a deserving spell. Hand Jamie the new ball- not easy to create chances is it you gumbus git! Haha just kidding! i have full faith he will redeem himself with some good runs to send the windies packing.

KD. K Bodhi said...

Ha! Somebody is becoming very popular

I am reasonably sure you would have seen this. Just in case.

flinty said...

Good job by you guys today, I had a feeling in this innings Gayle will play a blinder and run away with the game like he has done many a times in the past, but the innings was a much more sober one. You guys got real lucky with chanderpaul, man a first ball duck from him is a real collectors item, i dont remember him getting one before.
btw the Indian team coming to NZ early next year, beware of the Indian press, they have funny ways of interpreting even the simplest of comments :D

The Old Batsman said...

Cracking one-two on Taylor. Good stuff. Your blog's adding to the enjoyment of the test, too. By the way, what are the teams saying about the referrals? Going down well with the players?

Anonymous said...

Taking your laptop in the bath is a bit dangerous. You have to have a safe pair of hands to keep hold in a situation like that.

Anonymous said...

Great blog. Good luck for today. Although luck just is probability taken personally . . .

Lush L Panther said...

hah.. still doubting.

So let's finish them off, where's the mop? Or are you gonna take the long handle?

Line and length with a wee tweak.

141km that not to shabby if it's on the right length.

Keep having fun.

TopesZZ said...

Truly awesome - for a pacer to get down to penning down his musings at the end of day's play!!!
Must surely be a first time ever in the history of the game??
Congrats on the 6-for in this test.
Have strayed onto this Blog - mighty happy to get a first hand feel of the on-field happenings - mentioned about this Blog on my own post today - BACK IN INDIA!!

Anonymous said...

Love the blog, and enjoyed the test a lot more because of it.

Thanks Ian!

Anonymous said...

tell the selectors of NZCT to PICK YOU for the ODI's and T20s

thanks so much for this blog!

cheers from Canada